***some minor spoilers***
1. get used to how horse riding works. unfortunetely the first time you ride you're fleeing for your life, so manouvering is really tricky. it's possible to use one hand to control the horse, but it may take a bit of practice. unlike TW3, the horse and rider operate separately to allow for shooting etc.
2. explore as much as possible as early as you can, to get the lay of the land
3. as soon as Bernard has given you basic training, practice the combat as much as possible, because you'll need it sooner rather than later, for ambushes eg.
4. level up your fighting skills as quickly as possible before entering tourneys, especially defence.
5. be patient with lockpicking and pickpocketing if you've never played before. once you have 'the feel' of how these games work, it will become much easier.
6. the game will force you to use every skill you've learned. there are opporunities for hunting, creating potions, pickpocketing and lockpicking, racing, fist fighting etc. the tourneys will introduce you to the variety of weapons available if you've chosen to stick with one in particular, mace eg.
7. always carry at least 5 bandages, lockpicks, marigold decoctions and saviour schnapps.
8. loot whatever you can and sell what you don't want. just be careful to not sell anything with a red hand icon (meaning a stolen item) unless you know the recipient won't care, like the millers. stolen items will remain 'hot' for a period of time, some longer than others, before the icon disappears and therefore becomes sellable.
just try to enjoy the game. it's a brilliant time waster with a captivating story and will keep drawing you back :P